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Awkward etiquette question about who to invite to wedding

Re: Awkward etiquette question about who to invite to wedding

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    Well, it really isn't polite to invite one but not both of a married couple, or to invite anyone to the ceremony but not the reception.

    This is me, but I would have extended invitations to everyone for both the ceremony and reception and if any conflicts arise had your FI tell them that everyone is invited to everything, and they need to find ways to get along with each other for one day and not use your wedding to rehash old conflicts with each other.  So I'd go ahead now and invite everyone to everything, and let them work out between themselves who will be attending what.
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    edited June 2013

    Why on earth is your FI's stepmom not invited? If she is married to your FFIL she must be invited as they are a social unit. If you want to invite his step siblings go ahead and do it. Who's paying for the wedding? If its you guys you can invite anyone you want! I'm also having a hard time understanding why everyone can't be adults for one day and just celebrate your marriage and forget about their issues. Can't they just ignore each other? I mean really, his mother has to miss the ceremony because his father will be there? Unless there are some legal issues involved (which there could be) I don't see why they can't just deal.

     

    ETA: you don't ask anyone to host your rehearsal dinner, or anything wedding related. Plan to host it yourselves and if someone offers, great! If not, no big deal.

    After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

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    ashleyepashleyep member
    First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited September 2013
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    I agree with Jen. I'm sure y'all have your reasons for feeling this is best, but I have no patience for parents who cannot put aside their differences for a couple of hours for the sake of their child. 

    To answer your question, we picked and chose which family members to invite regardless of where they fell on our family trees. However, our family dynamics allowed for that; not everyone can get by with it w/o creating future drama. 


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    Kate61487Kate61487 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited June 2013

    Below are the only etiquette rules on who you must invite:
    1)  If you indicate to someone they will be invited (verbally, with a STD, etc.) then they must be invited
    2)  If you invite someone their SO must also be invited.
    3)  If you invite someone to part of the wedding festivities (shower, ceremony, "dance") you must invite them to the whole thing. (The whole thing =ceremony and dinner; you don't have to invite everyone to showers or RDs; and a truly private ceremony is an exception/loop hole)

     

    That's it.  etiquette doesn't say you have to invite aunt jane or cousin bob or coworker jimmy.  That all comes down to your preference, family drama, and the hosts' preference (if they are different from the bride and groom). 

    If you want to invite your FIL's family and it won't cause major fallout (beyond what you're comfortable dealing with) and your MIL isn't paying (if she is she gets to decide) then go ahead and invite them; but they need to be invited to the ceremony AND reception.

    ETA - I say "dinner" above; I realize not all receptions include dinner, point was they need to be invited to the reception and not just the "dance" portion.

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    ashleyepashleyep member
    First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited September 2013
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    See, now I am curious why your fiance would have anything to do with his father, either, if it's what I'm assuming. 


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    AddieL73 said:

    See, now I am curious why your fiance would have anything to do with his father, either, if it's what I'm assuming. 



    This. If the rift is caused by stealing or abuse, why is your fiancé inviting his father at all? If I were his sister, I would be very troubled by this.

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    itzMSitzMS member
    First Answer First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited June 2013
    ashleyep said:
    Jen4948 said:
    Well, it really isn't polite to invite one but not both of a married couple, or to invite anyone to the ceremony but not the reception.

    This is me, but I would have extended invitations to everyone for both the ceremony and reception and if any conflicts arise had your FI tell them that everyone is invited to everything, and they need to find ways to get along with each other for one day and not use your wedding to rehash old conflicts with each other.  So I'd go ahead now and invite everyone to everything, and let them work out between themselves who will be attending what.
    My FI has made it abundantly clear that inviting his mother, father, and sister to everything is not going to happen. Believe me, that would be my wish, but if you knew the history of it, you wouldn't have a problem with it. We've come to this solution with both of his parents and that's no longer an issue. This is the solution they've agreed upon.

    My question is, can I invite these other people to the wedding (ceremony and reception obviously) and let them decide if they want to attend, even though his father and step-mother won't be at the reception?

    An invitation isn't a summons, so yes, you should invite all of the family you want to all events and let them make the decision.

    FWIW, my DH's parents were/are bitterly divorced. They still hate each other with the fire of a thousand suns. Magically, they were able to be grown ups and both enjoy our wedding with their respective new spouses. It's really not up to your FI to decide. Everyone should be invited to everything.

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    itzMSitzMS member
    First Answer First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment

    @AddieL73, @zobird

    I can relate to the OP, as my DH is the only of 4 siblings that talks to their biological mother. There were some infidelity issues, but DH chose to forgive his mother while the other siblings didn't.

    It's definitely weird, but it happens.

    We invited everyone to everything (Mom's side and Dad's side) and they were all adults and made their own decision to come or not.

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    Yes, MS, but I think we're talking about abuse here, not parents' infidelity. 


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    Shit. I shouldn't have brought this up. This isn't my family drama to be discussing on a public forum.
    Anniversary
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    LAM524LAM524 member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer Name Dropper
    I dont think its "weird" if you have a relationship with them! Besides, its your wedding, YOUR guests. If you and FI want to invite them, do it. It's up to them if they attend. IMHO, the father not being there has nothing to do with inviting them. He is not the one getting married.

    tinkerbell gif photo: Tinkerbell stuck in keyhole animated gif Peterpan2_coince9e.gif
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    ashleyep said:
    For a lot of reasons I can't really get into, we've had to make the extremely difficult decision to separate my fiance's (divorced) parents at the wedding. His dad will get ready with my FI and go to the ceremony (and rehearsal dinner) and his sister and mother will be coming to the reception. They know all of this and understand it's the best solution, and obviously we're not going to be asking his parents to host the rehearsal dinner.

    The issue however is with inviting his extended family. There's a few cousins from his dad's side that my FI would like to invite and that his mom and sister are okay with having. My FFIL re-married a few years ago and has two step-children, the weddings for both of whom we have attended. I'd like to invite them and his step-mom, they're basically family as well, but I'm not sure where the line is in all of that. I'm assuming they wouldn't attend since their mother, FI's step-mom won't be attending the reception with his father, but is it rude to invite them? What about his family from that side? It's probably not worth it to sit through a 30 minute church ceremony.

    This is all a very incredibly awkward situation. I'm pretty sure it's why my fiance waited as long as he did to propose. I want to do the right thing and not exclude anyone, but I don't know what the right answer is in all of this. Can you pick and choose which aunts and uncles and cousins you invite, and can you invite them at all if his dad won't be at the reception at all?

    So his dad gets to get all dolled up and attend the ceremony for all of 30 minutes but not enjoy the party afterwards? And his mom doesn't get to see her son get married? I'm be pretty pissed if I was either parent.

     

    As for the extended family - I don't think its rude to invite the step-mom's children. They can decide whether or not to attend or decline. And when you say "what about fiance's family from that side...its not worth sitting through a 30 minute ceremony." are you indicated that side of the family would only be invited to the ceremony. Bc if that is the case then yes it is rude. If you invite them to the ceremony you must invite them to the reception.

     

     

    I really don't get why his parents just can't get along for one day. Hell, they don't even have to look at each other or talk to eachother.

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    ashleyepashleyep member
    First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited September 2013
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    I think you can invite whomever you want. If you want some aunts and uncles to come then ask them too. If anyone throws a fit, then just politely state that you had to keep the guest list smaller and that you were opting for a more intimate ceremony and reception. I don't think it is rude to invite two grown adults (the step-children) to the reception if they understand the circumstances between the divorced parents. As far as inviting family from the parents side, choose people you are close with and can come to both the ceremony and reception... That would be my advice at least.

    Also, even if the father won't be there they will have other family to talk to. I would invite the people you want to invite and leave it up to them if they want to attend.
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    itzMSitzMS member
    First Answer First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment

     

    This is the decision the parents have decided on. Not one we made unilaterally. We are not inviting any of the other guests to one part of the wedding and not the other. I just doubt they would attend the reception if the dad isn't and is it worth making the trip just for the ceremony. But I guess that's their decision to make.


    They should be coming to the wedding to support you and FI, not to show sides for your FI's parents personal situation, anyways.

    It will be fine.

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    Everyone involved is fine with the splitting. It's not about his parents not getting along. She cleared that up already. 



    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. 

    To be clear, as far as I know, his parents are not contributing to the wedding - we're splitting the cost with my parents. We obviously don't feel we can ask either of them to pay for the rehearsal dinner (the typical responsibility of the groom's family) since his mother won't be attending the rehearsal and his dad will only be attending the ceremony.
    Anniversary
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    MobKazMobKaz member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    "I really don't get why his parents just can't get along for one day. Hell, they don't even have to look at each other or talk to eachother."


    Just a guess, but I would bet it is more of a legal issue than a personal issue.
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    I'm also curious, but it sounds like it's really personal. OP, invite within etiquette rules (SOs and anyone who gets an STD or is invited to pre-wedding events) and let family figure out their own issues. If invited people don't want to come because FI's dad is there, then they don't come. FI's mom not attending "out of support for his sister" is strange. Why wouldn't she attend out of support for her son?
    *********************************************************************************

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    I have no idea what, other than abuse, as Addie said, could justify this kind of bizarre behaviour, but I'll take you at your word that this is the best/only solution.

    Moving on from that, invite the people you/your FI are close to within certain constraints:

    1. You can't invite the parents and one child of a family and not invite the other child if they all still live at home (I.e., you can't invite mom, dad, 18-year-old but not 14-year-old).

    2. You must invite social units. If you don't like Uncle Bob, you can't invite Aunt Sally and her not to bring him.

    3. Anyone who got an STD gets an invite.

    If Dad's side of the family knows about the reason for the estrangement, and they're aware of who will be where and when, and they're OK with that, go for inviting whomever you want from that branch of the family tree.
    Anniversary

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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
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    ashleyepashleyep member
    First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited September 2013
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    gmcr78gmcr78 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    ashleyep said:
    SJM7538 said:
    ashleyep said:
    For a lot of reasons I can't really get into, we've had to make the extremely difficult decision to separate my fiance's (divorced) parents at the wedding. His dad will get ready with my FI and go to the ceremony (and rehearsal dinner) and his sister and mother will be coming to the reception. They know all of this and understand it's the best solution, and obviously we're not going to be asking his parents to host the rehearsal dinner.

    The issue however is with inviting his extended family. There's a few cousins from his dad's side that my FI would like to invite and that his mom and sister are okay with having. My FFIL re-married a few years ago and has two step-children, the weddings for both of whom we have attended. I'd like to invite them and his step-mom, they're basically family as well, but I'm not sure where the line is in all of that. I'm assuming they wouldn't attend since their mother, FI's step-mom won't be attending the reception with his father, but is it rude to invite them? What about his family from that side? It's probably not worth it to sit through a 30 minute church ceremony.

    This is all a very incredibly awkward situation. I'm pretty sure it's why my fiance waited as long as he did to propose. I want to do the right thing and not exclude anyone, but I don't know what the right answer is in all of this. Can you pick and choose which aunts and uncles and cousins you invite, and can you invite them at all if his dad won't be at the reception at all?

    So his dad gets to get all dolled up and attend the ceremony for all of 30 minutes but not enjoy the party afterwards? And his mom doesn't get to see her son get married? I'm be pretty pissed if I was either parent.

     

    As for the extended family - I don't think its rude to invite the step-mom's children. They can decide whether or not to attend or decline. And when you say "what about fiance's family from that side...its not worth sitting through a 30 minute ceremony." are you indicated that side of the family would only be invited to the ceremony. Bc if that is the case then yes it is rude. If you invite them to the ceremony you must invite them to the reception.

     

     

    I really don't get why his parents just can't get along for one day. Hell, they don't even have to look at each other or talk to eachother.

    This is the decision the parents have decided on. Not one we made unilaterally. We are not inviting any of the other guests to one part of the wedding and not the other. I just doubt they would attend the reception if the dad isn't and is it worth making the trip just for the ceremony. But I guess that's their decision to make.

    This.  You seem to have come to your own solution.  It sounds like the parents themselves have made the decision to split the time with the ceremony vs the reception, which is sad, but c'est la vie.  As for the rest of the guests, invite whoever you want to the whole shindig.  It's up to them whether or not they will come. 

    Good luck, this sounds awful for you and your FI.

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    With the newer details- go ahead and invite the step siblings, cousins, whoever. I'm assuming they will know of the situation, or at least know that their step father and mother won't be at the reception. They can decide for themselves if they'd still like to attend. You have every right to invite them!

    After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

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    OK my apologies, I don't think I read far enough down or didn't pay close enough attention. This is a crappy situation for you guys. I'm sorry they're making it so difficult on you.

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    ashleyep said:
    Thanks for the advice everyone. 

    To be clear, as far as I know, his parents are not contributing to the wedding - we're splitting the cost with my parents. We obviously don't feel we can ask either of them to pay for the rehearsal dinner (the typical responsibility of the groom's family) since his mother won't be attending the rehearsal and his dad will only be attending the ceremony.
    It's a tradition sometimes that the groom's family throws it but they are in no way responsible for it. It's the bride and groom's total responsibility unless someone else offers it as a gift. So the fact that you and your groom are throwing it is 100% appropriate and good.
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    I would invite everyone to everything assuming you or your FI has a relationship with at least some of the family that isn't just through his father. If he really only sees/talks to them at family events with his father I might consider not inviting them. It really also would depend on what they all know of the situation with his sister (if it would be a shock that his dad wasn't at the reception and cause more problems).
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